Help, my flower beds are a smorgasboard!
Squirrels and Critters In The Garden
Depending on where you live, you might be dealing with critters and squirrels munching your plants. So, how can you keep squirrels away out of your garden beds? While squirrels, chipmunks, deer, rabbits, groundhogs and other critters may look cute in your garden, they might be using your flower beds for an all-you-can-eat buffet. No doubt you have spent countless hours tending to your garden, and if you have a beautiful garden, which you probably do, then chances are the critters know it too. Sooner or later, you’ll see they’v left their mark and you’ll be looking for ways to fend them off.
Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping critters out of the garden beds that should help!
Squirrels frequently are the most common culprits; so plant a variety of Squirrel-Proof Flowers. Surprisingly enough, there are a few plants a squirrel will steer clear from. These furry, chattering creatures aren’t content at all with their acorns, they go after your flowers and bulbs like crazy. Being avid foragers, they are a nuisance to many a gardener. Most of their time awake is spent foraging food for storage or eating then and there. Persistent critters, they will dig holes and chew through anything in their way to obtain a tasty treat. They don’t just nibble on flowers as deer and rabbits usually do, they dig down and devour bulbs for their nutritional value.
While a squirrel, or any critter for that matter, isn’t very particular when it comes to nutrition, try planting some of these to keep them moving on from your yard:
All of these flowers are either bright in color or produce a strong odor that squirrels don’t particularly enjoy. Plant these around your garden or trees to help protect them from squirrel damage and add to the beauty of your landscape.
Use Strong Odors
Scents like white pepper, black pepper, and garlic are naturally unpleasant to a squirrel. The same goes for sweet smells such as peppermint. You can try spraying pepper on and around your plants to deter squirrels and critters. To do this, in a bowl, add in a few tablespoons of cayenne pepper, a few tablespoons of tabasco sauce, then 5 or 6 cups of water. Stir together well and add contents to a spray bottle and spray onto your plants around the base. If this technique seems to be keeping your yard or garden safe, reapply as frequently as needed! Don’t forget to sprinkle these scents on again after storms too.
Another option that works is that you can lay or sprinkle whole garlic gloves around your plants or you can create a garlic spray to spray around the flowers or plants that are getting eaten. A simple garlic spray critter/squirrel deterrent recipe that only requires garlic and water and takes little time to make follows:
1 head of garlic (about 6-7 gloves)
2 cups of water
Chop garlic up into small pieces.
Add to a jar, then top with water.
Let it sit in a dark place for a few days.
Strain the garlic out of the solution, then dilute it with one gallon of water.
Add to a spray bottle. Spray around plants, on the leaves, and stems.
Store leftover solution in the fridge up to a week.
Urine Spray Squirrel Deterrents
The urine of predators will also keep squirrels away. If they can smell a predator in your lawn, they’re not going to be as willing to stick around. Commercial repellents mimic the odor and are easy to apply. Coyote and red fox urine seem to work the best, so consider purchasing sprays or liquids that either contain or mimic these odors. In your attic, use towels doused in apple cider vinegar to deter squirrels. The strong odor should deter squirrels for a while, but the towels will need to be refreshed and replaced periodically to keep the deterrent effective.
Remove Sources of Food & Water
You can’t help if the trees in your yard bear fruit and nuts for squirrels to squander. Plus, there’s no sense in cutting down a perfectly healthy tree just to keep squirrels away! However, you know food and water sources like birdseed and bird feeders will attract squirrels. The best option would be to remove these food sources completely, so a squirrel has no reason to stay. But, if removing them isn’t an option, try squirrel-proofing your bird feeders to keep them from eating what’s not meant for them.
Scare Them Away
Keep squirrels away by adding a statue or figurine of a predator into your space. While this might not be the aesthetic you were going for, the mere silhouette of an owl could send squirrels scurrying. A squirrel is naturally skittish, so the fear of being injured or eaten could keep them away from your lawn for good.
Still need some help? It doesn’t get any better than this. Here’s a link to a monumental best selling book by Bill Adler – OUTWITTING SQUIRRELS. It is a testament to writer Bill Adler Jr.’s persistence that even after 20 publishers rejected his book proposal, he never gave up. He was as determined to get his book into print as a squirrel trying to break into a “squirrel-proof” bird feeder. Since the book’s publication in 1988, there have been three editions of “Outwitting Squirrels.” Together, they’ve sold more than 1,000,000 (one million) copies.